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Test BMW X1 against Range Rover Evoque: Dynamics demands style icons

Hans-Dieter Seufert
BMW X1 25d and Range Rover Evoque SD4 in comparison
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D ie the highest form The recognition may consist in the fact that the mere presence is enough to be cheered. At Land Rover, which is traditionally very traditional, they have achieved this so far by building a car until it is so out of date that it can be celebrated as classic. The Land Rover Defender has been rumbling through the world for 64 years - a mature hero who no longer has to prove anything in order to be loved.

Perhaps the guys from Land Rover were completely enthusiastic about the Range Rover Evoque a bit overwhelmed. In any case, they can't build enough Evoque in Halewood. Even the news that ex-Spice Girl Victoria Beckham was designing a special model of the compact SUV did not significantly reduce demand.
They noticed the success of the Range Rover Evoque at BMW, and when you heard loud clapping from there, it wasn't applause, but a wipe of the flat hand on the forehead. For the decision not to keep Land Rover like Mini, but to sell it to Ford in 2000. The store is now owned by Tata, and with the Range Rover Evoque, BMW's X1 has a new favorite rival instead of a cousin.

BMW X1 diesel pushes mightily, the automatic shifts splendidly

So it's time for a model revision on the BMW X1. This is a big word for changes that culminate in more extensive painted bumpers with a three-part air inlet, new light graphics and the offer of three equipment lines with mostly dispensable content.

Instead of us with the 18-inch aluminum panels and kidney bars in glacier silver matt, we therefore preheat the turbodiesel. The most powerful version of the two-liter is called the 25d, creates 14 hp and 50 Nm more than in the previous 23d. More important than the increase in strength /performance: it now also cooperates with the eight-speed automatic. The only minor weakness of the brilliant gearbox, apart from the imprecise selector lever, is that it sometimes takes a while to find the right gear ratio when overtaking. Otherwise, it shifts so quickly, smoothly and accurately that there is no need to flip the steering wheel paddles.

Only the engine rebels against the good drive manners of the BMW X1. It now pushes forward even more forcefully, but has retained the neat basic sound.On the autobahn, the wind above the target speed is annoying on the windows.

BMW X1 is more dynamic, but less comfortable

The Range Rover Evoque could only groan after the BMW's rush. But that would be inadmissible for a range and would make little sense with 28 HP less power, 152 kg more weight and the somewhat more sluggish, soft-shifting six-speed automatic. Although the marketing constantly bothered him with dynamic requests, the Range Rover Evoque does not let that disturb it - while the BMW X1 with its almost poisonous appealing, very precise and feedback-intensive steering wriggles over country roads. It circles corners neutrally, with little body roll and a slightly loose rear, but always safe.

Asphalted border areas are not among the areas a Range Rover Evoque prefers to travel. Whereby the Evoque turns a bit clumsy, carefree, calm and with an unproblematic tendency to understeer around bends, guided by its less precise, non-hectic steering. If the rough rolling of the 19-inch wheels bothers you in the city, it now offers better suspension comfort than the hoppy BMW X1, which in turn rolls more sensitively --beta '> Both feel uncomfortable offroad

Slight differences also offroad. Although the Range Rover Evoque has a small advantage with the standard Terrain Response System, the electronics that condition the engine, driver aids and all-wheel drive on different surfaces are of little use because the Range Rover Evoque with low ground clearance, moderate ramp and tight slope angle already touches down in gentle terrain.

The BMW X1 fails even earlier. His renouncement of climbing aids is only logical, as even rougher dirt roads are already scraping against his subsoil. When it comes to pure traction - for example on one-sided slippery slopes - the X1 is better with faster acting all-wheel drive with multi-plate clutch. The Range Rover Evoque adopts Freelander technology with a slightly delayed Haldex clutch for transversely installed engines.

This layout, on the other hand, offers advantages in terms of space compared to the BMW X1 with its longitudinally installed engine. The BMW cannot convert the eleven centimeters longer and ten centimeters longer wheelbase into more space. In front and behind the passengers sit deep and unconstrained. But it never feels like an off-road vehicle, more like a somewhat stubborn station wagon. The Range Rover Evoque is like traveling in a Range; high, comfortable and with a better view - at least ahead. The fact that the massive center console limits the width at the front and the rising floor disturbs in the rear, like the more complicated controls, are only small shadows that the Range Rover Evoque fades in style. Elegantly furnished and solidly processed, it still gets full points in terms of qualityalways a bit simply furnished BMW X1.

Although the Range Rover Evoque loses with higher consumption, weaker brakes and higher costs, the BMW X1 should get used to this opponent. Thanks to the Defender, the average construction time of the current Land and Range Rover range is 16 years. The Range Rover Evoque will probably stay with us for a few more years.

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